I cannot think of a time when someone tried to discourage me to my face, but I can certainly think of numerous occasions when naysayers who have thrown many painful jabs at my efforts, stood by the sidelines hoping to rejoice in my failure. However, I have always trod on, because of my tremendous belief in myself, a belief that was instilled in me by my parents who have always encouraged me and my sisters in everything we do.

My beginnings were very humble and we experienced many financial challenges, but my parents exemplified resilience and an indomitable spirit in the face of obstacles. Their actions taught me fortitude and what it truly takes to be focused, even in the face of opposition or disappointment. I am very grateful I had such supportive & loving parents, who made me feel sure of myself and because of them, I do believe that with hard work and commitment to my goals, I can achieve anything . This strength also nurtured confidence, acceptance and belief in self. Fast forward to today, 30 years later, there is still much in my life that I need to do and achieve, however, there is little doubt that I will. Perhaps there has been some delay, but never doubt.

I admonish parents to ensure that they nurture and nourish confidence and love of self in their children, especially our little girls, because there is going to come a time in their lives, when that small voice of hope, saying “you can do it” will make a big difference. I relied on that voice greatly in 1994 when I was asked to enter the Miss Jamaica Universe pageant. I knew I wouldn’t be the prettiest girl, with the best smile, the best figure, the best legs nor the best skin, but what I did know is that I had enough of the attributes to qualify me to be an entrant. I knew that I would do my absolute best, and whatever the result, I would be proud of what I had done because it was MY best. I was right, I wasn’t the prettiest of the lot, nor did I possess the best of any of the individual attributes, so when these criticisms were leveled at me, I was not deterred nor discouraged because I already knew these things to be true to them, but with that voice, they became powerless. My best, won me the title, and though it was a surprise to many and disappointment to many, I believed that I deserved the title, because I gave it my utmost best, and I am proud to be Miss Jamaica Universe 1994. I cannot say that, that was always a dream of mine, but it is the path that chose me and has shaped who I am today. That experience transformed me from a rough and tumble Tomboy, to a composed, graceful woman.

I am extremely proud of my place today in the beauty and fashion industry; as a renowned Pageant trainer of several Miss Jamaica winners, the face of design label drennaLUNA, & Miss Jamaica Universe 1994.

Angelie Martin-Spencer

Creative Director, drennaLUNA & Miss Jamaica Universe 1994.
Her Mantra is “Once Man has done his best, he can do no more…in all things, give your best effort”